Policy Making by Dummies would appear to be a more accurate way to describe Doug Ford’s approach to governing. Since taking office, he has announced a wide range of policy initiatives, mostly involving cuts to government services that would adversely affect the most vulnerable members of the population such as those with autism and drug addiction. Funding cuts were announced for children’s aid societies and for legal aid, leaving abused children and women more vulnerable. Class sizes were to be expanded significantly, to make students more “resilient” – according to one explanation offered. The list goes on. As public outcry intensified and Ford’s popularity plummeted, the government announced at least partial retreats on virtually every one of their initiatives.
Andrew Scheer insists, incorrectly, that modern conventions dictate that the party with the most seats takes power following an election in which no party wins a majority. In fact, as numerous articles have reported recently, the governing party (the Liberal party in this instance) is entitled to meet with Parliament to determine if it has the confidence of the House of Commons. All parties other than the Conservatives have put forward progressive policies, and the leader of the NDP has indicated a willingness to support the Liberals while rejecting any possibility of supporting the Conservatives. There is every reason to believe, therefore, that a minority Liberal Government – even one with fewer seats than the Conservatives – would be able to survive votes in the House of Commons (at least for a while).
C. Richard Tindal, Ph.D is a retired Professor of Government. He taught for 30 years at St. Lawrence College, Kingston and was an occasional Visiting Professor at Queen's University. He has also written and consulted extensively about government.